Physical fitness can be a huge help when you are going through addiction recovery, not only because it allows you to focus on making your body healthy, but because it can help boost your self-esteem, confidence, and mental health. Getting active and practicing mindfulness can help you relax, learn how to focus on the present to reduce anxiety, and find comfort after a long battle with addiction.
“Research clearly shows that exercise helps your body, whether you’re in recovery or not. Improved long-term fitness helps with cardiovascular health and diabetes, lowers the risk of some types of cancers, stimulates the immune system, and can even help alleviate depression symptoms. Further research shows that exercise can increase the amount of new nerve connections in the brain, which will help your brain heal from the harm your drug of choice has been causing. As the body and mind continue to return to a more normal state, many people in recovery find exercise also helps restore a normal sleep schedule,” reads a blog post by SMART Recovery.
Keep reading for more on how physical fitness can help you during addiction recovery.
Many individuals who have battled substance abuse have trouble sleeping. Daily exercise can help you get better sleep, which can in turn reduce stress and help you feel better during the day. It will also help boost your productivity and can even help with physical issues, such as inflammation brought on by arthritis. Working out daily can help you prepare for better rest so you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way.
Boost your mental health
Taking care of your mental health is essential when you’re in recovery, since many individuals face depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders that can be debilitating. Exercise can have many benefits for your mental health, including boosting neural growth and healthy brain cells.
“Exercise is a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Most importantly, it promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good. Finally, exercise can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression,” reads Helpguide.org.
Exercising every day and starting a new routine that makes you feel good will keep you motivated to stay healthy and stick with it. Try to work out at the same time every day and incorporate activities that are fun so you’ll be more apt to keep up with it, such as going for a swim, dancing, or playing a sport.
Substance abuse can take a huge toll on your body, so one of the best ways to heal is to get fit and focus on your health. Talk to your doctor about finding the right workout (or workouts) for your needs and fitness goals, whether it’s walking, weight training, cardio, or a combination of them.
Learning how physical fitness can benefit your needs is essential when you’re going through recovery, because it will help you focus on achieving a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Talk to your doctor and keep communication open about your needs so you’ll have support no matter what happens, and do the same with your friends and family. Consider finding a support group so you’ll have people to talk to who know what you’ve been through.